By Richard G Mark DDS
August 14, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

No one likes getting dental work. You may worry about discomfort, lengthy treatment times, and cost. Frankly, though, some dental root canalprocedures have an undeserved reputation. One such treatment is root canal therapy. Used by skilled dentists such as Dr. Richard Mark in Independence, MO, a root canal (as it's nicknamed) heals and restores injured, infected or deeply decayed teeth. Uncomplicated and taking just two appointments with Dr. Mark, root canal therapy is not painful. Rather, it allows you to keep your tooth for many years of extra service. Do you think you need root canal therapy? Learn what signs indicate the answer is yes.

Signs you need root canal therapy

Also called endodontic therapy, a root canal procedure removes the pulp from a tooth's interior chambers, or canals. This pulp has nerves, blood vessels and supportive ligaments, but a tooth functions well without it once a person is past adolescence.

An individual needs root canal therapy because the health of a tooth is seriously compromised. Removing that inner pulp, sealing and crowning the tooth usually restores it, avoiding extraction and the consequences which inevitably follow (unattractive smile gaps, weakening of adjacent teeth and more).

How do you and your dentist in Independence dentist know you need root canal therapy? Well, you as the patient could be experiencing:

  • Throbbing pain
  • Dental sensitivity to cold, pressure or heat
  • Drainage from the site
  • Gum tenderness, swelling and redness
  • Darkened tooth enamel

Some people may feel nauseous or run a fever, too. Given these symptoms, Dr. Marks will examine your tooth, take digital X-rays and gently tap the tooth to assess tenderness. Most endodontic patients have a dental infection.

The root canal procedure

Patients do well with locally injected anesthetic for root canal treatments. After your tooth is completely numb, the dentist drills a narrow hole, accessing one of the interior chambers (there can be up to four). Then, he uses small metal files to remove the pulp and smooth the sides of the canals. Antiseptic medication cleans the chamber, and the dentist may instill antibiotics.

Dr. Marks also uses a natural putty called gutta percha to seal the chamber. He proceeds to the other root canals and repeats the process as necessary.

Finally, the dentist in Independence places a temporary crown and sends you home for a week or so to heal. You may take over the counter analgesics for any discomfort and eat a soft diet for a day or two.

When you return to Dr. Mark's office, he will remove the temporary restoration and place a realistic porcelain crown to cover and beautify the tooth. That's it. You're done, and your tooth will likely last for decades, says the American Association of Endodontists.

Keep your tooth...

And feel better, too. A root canal treatment from Dr. Richard Mark will improve your oral health significantly. If you are concerned about a tooth, please call his office for a one-on-one consultation in Independence, MO: (816) 461-3660.